King Of Swing ensconced himself in racing royalty with a dominant performance in tonight’s Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup, becoming the first horse to win two Miracle Miles and two Hunter Cups.
Belinda McCarthy and Luke McCarthy’s brilliant entire was an unstoppable force in tonight’s $500,000 Grand Circuit classic, leading from gate one and blowing his rivals away in a stunning 25.9sec final quarter.
It’s a victory that elevated him into rare air, increasing his career winnings to $2.78 million to leapfrog Christen Me into seventh on the all-time richest Australasian-bred pacers.
“I’ve been so lucky throughout my career to drive a lot of great horses,” Luke McCarthy said. “This is one of my favourite horses of all time – he’s big, he’s strong, he’s good gaited. He’s just done such an amazing job.
“It’s a massive thrill. I love driving at Melton, it’s one of my favourite tracks and to be able to win Victoria Cups and Hunter Cups, it’s a massive thrill.”
King Of Swing was in a class of his own tonight, improving his extraordinary front-running record by having a vice-like grip on the race from the outset.
McCarthy felt no pressure early, with stablemate Spirit Of St Louis able to drift forward into the running line and then hand over the breeze to Lochinvar Art amid a modest 85.3sec lead time.
Neither McCarthy or Lochinvar Art’s reinsman, David Moran, were in any rush to quicken with major threats on their back, and with no three-wide line emerging until late they were able to pace even quarters until the last-gasp sprint to the line.
“I was really worried about Amazing Dream on my back and obviously I tried to take it as easily as I possibly could and with Arty only being third-up we knew he probably wasn’t ready to go to war with (King Of Swing),” McCarthy said.
He would wait until straightening for the last time before releasing the King and the champ did the rest, careering away in a 25.9sec last quarter with only Spirit Of St Louis able to keep pace.
The latter ran into second to continue his brilliant summer, while Amazing Dream claimed third ahead of fast-finishing Mach Dan.
“What a great horse, such a beautiful athlete,” McCarthy said. “When I asked him to go at the top of the straight he just put three lengths on them.”
A thrilled trainer Belinda McCarthy said another Grand Circuit triumph for the Breckon Farms-bred entire, who’s by Rocknroll Hanover, was just reward as they advanced towards a stud career.
“It’s amazing, knowing that he’s retiring at the end of the year and going to stud, you just want things to happen and he deserved it tonight,” she said. “He’s just one of the most beautiful horses I’ve been associated with, I’m very proud of him.”
With the victory, King Of Swing became just the sixth horse to win two Hunter Cups, joining Pure Steel (three), Sheffield Globe, Minuteman, Monara and Blossom Lady. Of those, only Pure Steel also won a Miracle Mile – in 1978.
And, as stated, only six horses now head King Of Swing on the Australasian-bred pacing stakewinners list, those being Blacks A Fake, Im The Mightyquinn, Lazarus, Smoken Up, Monkey King and Lennytheshark.
Whether it is racing – Standardbreds or Thoroughbreds – rehabilitation, agistment or breeding, Cobbitty Equine Farm’s location, facilities and operations ensure the horses welfare and development are paramount.